Reproductive and pollination biology of black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) and gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.)

Croatian association of freshwater ecologists invites you to a talk entitled Reproductive and pollination biology of black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) and gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) that will be held on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 1 PM in the Library of the Division of Zoology (Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Rooseveltov trg 6, Zagreb) by our guest speaker Nina Haas student from the University of Salzburg (Salzburg, Austrija) and an IAESTE-intern at the Division of Zoology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. In order to introduce Nina, she will present the results of her bachelor’s thesis dealing with terrestrial organisms. During her IAESTE stay, Nina will be involved in topics related to the urban stream ecology.
We wish Nina a warm welcome and a pleasant stay at our Department!


The “superfruits” gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa L.) and black currants (Ribes nigrum L.) have fascinating potential for culinary- and health sciences. The berries are used for a large variety of products, like juices and jams, and are in folk medicine known for constitutional effects for various ailments, due to their huge range of healthy substances, such as vitamin C. Nevertheless, little is known about the reproductive and pollination biology of these plants.
In my bachelor thesis I investigated the impact of flower visitors on the fruit set of black currants and gooseberries using bagging experiments. In addition to this, I created visitor statistics of the flower visitors by personally observing the plants and analysed their floral scent using thermal desorption gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Finally, I determined which volatiles of the scent are active in the insect’s antennae by conducting chromatography coupled to electroantennographic detection. The results showed that the gooseberry plant mostly relies on visiting insects for pollination, while the black currant is capable of self-pollination. Nevertheless, pollinators significantly improved fruit set for both species. Flower visitors of 13 different species were found on gooseberries and 21 different species on black currants. The scent analysis revealed 23 compounds in Ribes uva-crispa and 40 compounds in Ribes nigrum. Most of the volatiles of the bouquet were active in the antennae of the tested bees and showed very slight differences among bee species. Therefore, I concluded that these volatiles play an important role in the attraction of the pollinators.